There are a number of local weirdos near where I live. Normally they have different peaks times for appearances. My favourite, the woman who sings and dances to her 80’s Walkman with a variety of costumes that change daily is there from lunchtime to late afternoon. The men who look suspiciously like The Greek and his right hand man from the Wire stand looking shady in full leather jackets and flat caps regardless of the weather outside the butcher’s shop usually from late morning through to lunchtime. The fat man who always looks a bit depressed with the world and so spends it watching everyone else go past is there from early evening outside the mini-cab office, but to my knowledge does not work there or in fact do anything. All the people who stand around with scary dogs shouting at each other and people that pass by are there at different times depending on their appointment at the Job Centre. Today, they are all out at the same time. I’m not sure if its the sunshine that has lured them out or if there is some sort of local Finsbury Park Loonies convention. I would like to believe the latter. Perhaps past hours, they all congregate and discuss where they need to be and what they need to be doing on a daily basis. The woman with the headphones is perhaps listening to careful instructions of how to look completely mental, but content while dressed as Mrs Santa. The Greek Mafia are probably like the security should anyone spot the ruse. And the shouty people are probably just shouty people outside the Job Centre. I’ve walked past them many a time. I really don’t think they are capable of being spies. Although I suppose that means they could be really really good spies. I wonder if they all watch me going past and say ‘there’s that weird starey short bloke that always walks past here around 1pm’.
Just returned from a casting that every comedian ever seems to be going for, for Three Mobile idents. The brief was to write several quick gags about the internet or mobile internet which I found rather hard. I managed to write about 15, only 4 of which were possibly good, with all the rest being massively poor and the opposite of funny (which was confirmed as being Coventry on Twitter last night). I got the casting studio with poor jokes in hand and made a huge error before even entering the door. There was a big sign saying ‘Door is open, please DO NOT press the doorbell’, so I did what anyone who wasn’t paying much attention would do, and pressed the doorbell. A rather tired Shoreditch twat lookalike told me in a disappointed sigh just to open the door and as I did I was greeted with the most horrible bell ring I have ever heard. It was not dissimilar to the beepy sounds of those singing birthday cards you might get someone you hate, except it went on for at least 40 seconds. The receptionist looked at me as though I’d just walked in and kicked a puppy at her. If they know that bell makes them so annoyed they could just change it for one that didn’t sound so ridiculous. Maybe the receptionist looks like that all the time and so by putting the sign up she has made others feel guilty for her constant anger.
In the waiting room already was a rather over confident young skinny actor, and Milton Jones. If there was ever a comic you didn’t want to follow at a one-liner audition it would be Milton. It could only have got worse if Tim Vine had been on after me. Luckily Charlie Baker appeared instead and we argued about who had to go on after Milton. All the while no one spoke to the actor. It was as though he was that person at the party no one invited and didn’t know why he was there. Sod’s law says that despite his lack of comedy writing ability he will get it because he is skinny and has curly hair. We know how TV works. Milton went in after actor man and there were many laughs from the room. This was disconcerting. Not least because Shoreditch twat man came out afterwards and told us they probably wouldn’t laugh because they are too busy analysing you. Both Charlie and myself were discussing just leaving and then I had to go in. It was all very sterile as it usually is, just walking in, saying my name, reading 5 jokes out, then leaving again. They actually laughed at my jokes which was surprising and knocked me back a bit. So much so I probably rushed the whole thing and escaped as quickly as I could. As I got to the tube station Milton had managed to get his travel card stuck in the ticket barrier and now no one could get through. The ticket office closed at 11, and so everyone was doing that wonderfully British thing of standing around awkwardly kicking their feet hoping something might happen. I spent the time telling Milton he had ruined everything for me today and though that by doing this I might help the situation. Eventually a TFL man walked out of the closed office, from which he had probably just been sitting. He looked so annoyed that someone had created a problem outside of the specified times. If you are ever at Latimer Road tube station do make sure that if you are to have a problem, an injury, a terrorist crisis or anything of similar issue, just do it before 11am or after 3pm. I was pleased that no matter how amazing Milton is at writing one liners, he cant use public transport. Milton 1 Me 1.
The aim for me at my gig last night at Rose Bruford, was to try all the jokes for today’s casting. I didn’t end up trying any of them as the crowd were too nice to try new material on. Its an odd dynamic that works for trying out new material. While you want the crowd to be nice, if they are too nice, you won’t really know if it works or not. What you need is a room of good cops and bad cops. The good cops will laugh when its funny and the bad cops will hit you with truncheons if you are trying to walk past a police barricade during a protest. A whole room of over excited drama students was too nice and it felt too much like a walk in the park if you weren’t walking but being carried. Its not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Before I went I was feeling really sick. I’d had two naps yesterday afternoon which is extremely unlike me. I don’t do napping especially when I have things to do. After both naps instead of feeling better I had a worse headache and was shivering too. Layla took my temperature but it came back with no reading at all, which meant it was either broken or I am beyond temperature. I like to think its the latter. I managed to pluck myself up a bit and trek to the gig which did me a world of good. There’s nothing like adrenaline from a gig and cheering drama students to get you through. Its not that drama students cheer anymore than normal people but I think its that they project the cheering better. From the diaphragm or something. So sad to know that all those happy faces will be unemployed in just a few years time, whether there is a credit crunch or not. Oddly telling them that was the only time they didn’t laugh. Tiernan Douieb – Professional People depressor.